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August 10, 2020

Fan Fact
According to Draftkings, 40% of fans who picked up a new sport to watch during the pandemic chose esports.

Top Story

NHL to reward followers in China with new engagement program

The NHL wants to enlist fans who will act as content creators and ambassadors for the league as it ramps content to its fans in China.

How is the league connecting with this fanbase?

Ice hockey enthusiasts in China who have a unique point of view of Chinese hockey, leadership qualities, are active online, and are willing to organise offline activities are being encouraged to join the NHL’s recently launched initiative. So called ‘fan leaders’ will be rewarded for their engagement by receiving benefits such as their own custom NHL jersey, free NHL.TV access for one year, tickets to future NHL China Games matches, and opportunities to participate in select VIP activities.

The Stanley Cup qualifiers and playoffs are being broadcast on CCTV-5+ and Tencent Sports, the NHL’s official broadcast partners in China. The NHL is also building an active presence on five social media platforms in China including Weibo, WeChat, Douyin, Toutiao, and a Mini-Program, with a combined 1.5 million followers.

The bottom line:

NHL vice-president, international marketing Joe Loreski said: “Engaging our fans across the globe is of paramount importance….The NHL fan leaders program demonstrates that objective in China, as we will identify and collaborate with those that display the enthusiasm and initiative to engage hockey fans with fan-driven content and commentary, delivered via the NHL’s growing social media channels.”

Read: SportBusiness


Why marketability, not touchdowns, may determine college football's millionaires in name, image, likeness era

While college football tries to fight its way through the COVID-19 pandemic, the implementation of NIL has quietly progressed behind the scenes. By this time next year, it is almost assured the likes of young Oklahoma QB Spencer Rattler will be leading a new wave of millionaires. Only a portion of it will have to do with their on-field accomplishments. That's where Rattler's self-awareness comes in. Before throwing that eighth career pass, he has already built up a social media following that would earn him more than $740,000 this year, according to an estimate by Opendorse, a technology-based social media firm from Lincoln, Nebraska.

Rattler already developed his own apparel line in high school (NappyHeadz). He was the subject of a Netflix documentary, "QB1." He is a YouTube regular. Rattler was the Elite 11 MVP in 2018. SportsLine has him among the top five Heisman Trophy candidates before starting a game. The $740,000 estimate on Rattler would place him third nationally among college football players in social media earnings. That is, when the NCAA allows it. It won't until next year. Still, you should get used to this new culture. "Spencer Rattler gets it, and he hasn't even played a down yet," said Opendorse CEO Blake Lawrence, exaggerating just a little. "He just gets it."

Read: CBS Sports


Morgan Stanley joins NFLPA’s financial advisor network to help players manage money

Morgan Stanley has joined the National Football League Players Association’s financial planning network, the two sides announced on Friday. Morgan Stanley’s head of Global Sports and Entertainment division, Sandra Richards, will lead the firm’s advisors entering the program, which is designed to offer NFL players assistance with expanding their finances and investments beyond their playing days.

The pact is an affiliation-like agreement with no upfront fees attached and grants Morgan Stanley more access to the NFLPA’s network of players and events. Richards said she wants to get players to “operate differently” when it comes to their finances, using the Covid-19 pandemic as “a living example of what can happen in terms of the unexpected besides a trade or God forbid an injury,” she said. “This moment is a teaching lesson,” Richards said. “This moment should be the wake-up call."

Read: CNBC

Partner Content

New Data Shows US Sports Teams Have a Tough Road Back on Social

That’s according to Conviva’s latest State of Streaming report which analyzed streaming and social trends throughout Q2 2020.

Highlights in this report include:

  • June social media engagements were down more than 71% from January for North American professional sports with the NFL Draft a bright spot, as NFL teams surpassed NBA teams in engagements for the only time during the year.
  • Global ad demand plummeted 28% in a single quarter, heavily impacted by the lack of sports and COVID-19.
  • Viewing time spiked 239% on smart TVs and a more modest 61% on connected TV devices like Roku and Amazon Fire TV which maintained 50% share of global viewing time in Q2.
  • Mobile YouTube viewing accounted for 59% share, but viewing on TVs grew significantly to 27% share in Q2 2020 from 16% the prior Q2.

Download the full report and companion infographic for many more insights.


XFL’s new owners see acquisition as "relatively cheap option" play

After a group led by Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson purchased the XFL, question have emerged as to exactly his plans for the league. A source familiar with the new ownership group’s thinking called the purchase a “relatively cheap option to acquire a business which had $200 million of capital already deployed into it; and in the absence of COVID-19, had shown some real green shoots.”

Garcia, Johnson and RedBird are all convinced that spring football is a viable product. But the group has no intention of funding losses for an extended period of time (as McMahon was willing to). In fact, the new owners are viewing their acquisition as an option play. The hope is they’ll be able to land a big enough media rights deal to make the league financially viable. And they’ll willingly fund the short-term losses associated with getting the league up and running again knowing there is a clear path to profitability.

Read: Sportico


In new era of sports consumption without fans, it’s all apologies for ‘potty mouths’

After about a week of games, NBA announcers haven’t had to apologize for anything slipping through. The court has never been so miked up, with 34 under the floor to pick up every bounce, step and sneaker squeak, but the league decided to go with a 10-second delay so that sounds that don’t fit the NBA’s desired image can be muted. “We saw the opportunity along with the NBA to bring fans closer to the game,” said Mike Shiffman, a vice president for content strategy at ESPN. “We know fans love access, but we also respect this is the players’ place of work and that there is some privacy here in terms of, they’re doing their job and it’s highly competitive and very emotional and intense. It can’t just be a free-for-all of sounds.”

Steve Hellmuth, the NBA’s executive vice president for media operations and technology, said his favorite aspect of the broadcasts so far are microphones attached to the backboards that are aimed to pick up reactions from the bench and a “rail cam” that sits where courtside seats normally would be and moves with the action from baseline to baseline.

Read: Los Angeles Times

What Else Is Trending?
  • LEAGUES: Amid reports that the college football season is on the brink of cancellation, star players led by Trevor Lawrence are looking to unionize to save the season.
  • TEAMS: The Seattle Kraken will have the NHL's first Black team broadcaster in Everett Fitzhugh.
  • MEDIA: Peacock will boost its sports offerings by adding simulcasts of the Dan Patrick Show, coming over from YouTube.
  • STREAMING: ESPN+ announced plans to increase the price of subscriptions for new members from $4.99 to $5.99 monthly.
  • BETTING: Barstool Sportsbook plans to launch first in Pennsylvania, likely beginning in September.

COOL Content


Casio to Release G-SHOCK × Rui Hachimura Collaboration Model

The Details

Casio Computer Co., Ltd. announced the release of the GST-B100RH, a new addition to the G-SHOCK line of shock-resistant watches. The GST-B100RH is the first collaboration model created with professional basketball player Rui Hachimura. Hachimura, who has had a successful first professional season in the professional basketball league in the US, resonates with G-SHOCK, a brand that, like him, comes from Japan and never fails to take on new challenges on the global stage.


Partnership Marketing Sr. Manager 
Pelicans - New Orleans, LA

Manager, Digital Marketing Analytics
Adidas - Portland, OR

Coordinator, New Media and Twitter
MLB - New York, NY

Sports Content Specialist
FanDuel – Cherry Hill, NJ

Director, Branded Content Sales
Sinclair National Sports – New York, NY

Sportsbook Marketing Manager
Kindred – London, UK

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